40 rabbis: Jews shouldn't rent, sell homes to gentiles

Rabbis say measure will prevent intermarriage; MK Horowitz: "racist" municipal rabbis should be fired, investigated for incitement.

Rabbinical Court 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbinical Court 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Over 40 municipal rabbis signed a petition on Tuesday saying that Jews should not rent homes in Israel to gentiles.
Amongst the reasons given for the prohibition are the danger of intermarriage and the lowering of real estate prices in areas where non-Jews live. Gentiles' "different lifestyle from Jews" can endanger lives, they wrote.
If a Jew sells or rents property to a gentile, his neighbors must warn him, and if he does not change his ways, the neighbors must avoid the person, and may not conduct business with him, according to the petition. A person who rents or sells to non-Jews also may not get aliyahs in synagogue.
Amongst the municipal rabbis who signed the petition are Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein of Ramat HaSharon, Rabbi Haim Pinto of Ashdod, Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba, Rabbi David Abuhazeira of Yavne, Rabbi David Bar-Chen of Sderot, and others.
In addition, one of the best-known National-Religious rabbis, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, signed the letter, as did Yosef's son, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef. Haredi leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal of Jerusalem's Old City also signed the letter.
Another ten rabbis reportedly plan to sign the letter.
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) called on Tuesday for these to be fired.
"This is the worst kind of racism, which comes from rabbis who are paid by the state" Horowitz said on Tuesday. "All they do is encourage hatred and destroy Israeli democracy."
"These rabbis are taking advantage of their stature, which leads to incitement," he added. Horowitz also said there should be a criminal investigation of the rabbis.